JeVanne Gibbs
1 minute read
12 Feb 2015
3:08 pm

Demonstration against Leila Khaled visit

JeVanne Gibbs

The SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) said it would demonstrate against human rights organisation Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) South Africa for inviting convicted terrorist Leila Khaled to the country.

FILE PICTURE: Leila Khaled, former member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), part of the secular, leftwing Palestinian rejectionist front. She is currently a member of the Palestinian National Council. Khaled came to public attention for her role in a 1969 hijacking and one of four simultaneous hijackings the following year as part of the Black September time line. Picture: City Press/Bongani Mnguni/Gallo Images.

Khaled’s visit has been dubbed the “importing of hate and the glorification of terrorism into the country” by the board.

“Welcoming hatemongers like Khaled to South Africa sends out a message that it is legitimate to discriminate against Jews, something that runs completely counter to the South African ethos of nonracialism, equality and tolerance,” said board director Wendy Kahn.

“It is outrage against the glorification of terrorism by BDS, as well as our commitment to peace, that will see us take to the streets tomorrow.”

The protest is planned for 8.30am along Spin Street in the Cape Town CBD tomorrow.

BDS confirmed Khaled, who is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, would attend the State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered by President Jacob Zuma as a guest of the Presiding Officers tonight.

BDS spokesperson Muhammed Desai said Khaled’s presence at SONA should be seen as a “clear sign that South Africa is a friend of Palestine, and that no pro-Israeli lobby or interest group can change this fact”.

In 1969, Khaled was part of a team that hijacked a passenger plane flying from Rome to Athens.

After the incident, she underwent plastic surgery to conceal her identity, which allowed her to take part in another plane hijack attempt in 1970.